Annoyed on a Plane

  • The card not working in the ticket machine in the railway station
  • People walking up to me, starting conversations in German

I want to write that the flight to Germany was uneventful. I really do. I worry that if I tell the truth, I’ll get accused of prejudice. Maybe if I describe the scene it might help.

The plane was half-empty again – perhaps sixty or seventy people in total. I took a photo and posted it to instagram of the nearby rows of empty seats, wondering if I was the common factor in the planes being half-empty recently. I almost smelled my own armpits, just to check. I thought I might actually get the back half the plane to myself for a little while – until “the family” turned up.

I’m not going to claim to know their nationality, because I don’t know what it was. I will tell you how they spread themselves out across the back half of the aircraft, and then continued their conversation by shouting to each other, instead of sitting nearer to the person they wanted to talk to. They continued this shouting match throughout the safety briefings, and the pilot’s introduction.

Oh how I hoped they would miss something crucial. I buried my head in a book for the next half an hour – until the air hostesses served food and drink. Given the low numbers of drinks to serve, I was offered both hot and cold drinks if I wanted them – I imagine the crew do anything to pass the time on empty flights. Of course in the movies you end up making friends with Kirsten Dunst, who sits next to you and makes entertaining conversation for hours before sending you on a road-trip across America to find her at a fayre and fall in love. That’s the movies though, and Cameron Crowe can get away with things like that.

While mentioning Cameron Crowe movies (that was an Elizabethtown reference, if you didn’t realise – great movie) – did you know there is a special version of Almost Famous in existence, that is over an hour longer than the original theatrical version? I’m not just talking about the “Bootleg” version – there is ANOTHER even LONGER version.

Anyway. We got to Germany in the end. We also got to the hotel – but not before the ticket machines on the railway platforms refused to sell me a ticket, or no trains turned up for half an hour. The displays kept claiming the next train would be along in 10 minutes – which would invariably tick down, before resetting back to 11, 12, or even 14 minutes at one point. I’m guessing the people that wrote the transportation computer system couldn’t count.

That all happened an hour ago. Since then I have checked in, unpacked, and gone grocery shopping. While walking towards the supermarket an overweight man cycled past on the footpath, and I couldn’t help noticing he had a wookie bike saddle. No, seriously – it was huge, and very hairy. I had to look twice.

Oh – before I forget – my other half caught me well and truly. I opened my case to unpack in the hotel this afternoon, and discovered a Valentine’s card and present. Now I have to figure out what on earth I’m going to get her in return. I’ll be passing through Paddington Station on my way home on Friday – perhaps something from there.

Now if you’ll excuse me, a pre-made salad from the supermarket is waiting for me.

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